Health benefits of chocolate
Are you a Chocolate lover who loves chocolate in any form, be it a fudge brownie or cocoa milk? Welcome to the informational den of your favorite snack, where we will answer the question: “is chocolate beneficial for your health?”
Chocolate is one of the most popular and cherished food supplements on the planet. It is prepared using bitter-tasting cacao tree seeds that have been fermented and then roasted and then ground to create a liquid, paste, or a solid form. The origins of chocolate can be traced to the United States of America, whereas today, Ivory Coast and Ghana are the top cocoa producers.
Most of the chocolate that is consumed today is either sweet or bittersweet (black chocolate). It is used to prepare many foods, such as cakes, desserts, pudding, and candies. Chocolate is also consumed as a snack in the form of chocolate bars and as beverages such as chocolate milk and hot chocolate. It makes for a perfect gift for holidays and traditional festivals all over the world. But hey, is it really beneficial for your body? Well, that’s what we are going to talk about in this article!
Chocolate has long been associated with rapid weight gain due to excessive consumption and can cause diabetes as well if there is no physical activity corresponding to its consumption. Besides all its nutritional value, cocoa also contains caffeine, supplements, and multivitamins. These include Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, and E. These chocolate multivitamins are beneficial for your body in various aspects.
There are many health benefits of making chocolate a part of your diet and your daily routine. Chocolate is one of those rare food items that taste awesome, are loved by people of all ages while providing enormous health benefits at the same time. Following are the health benefits you get by eating chocolate while you indulge your sweet tooth.
Cocoa in the chocolate can improve your heart condition by reducing hypertension and improving the body’s blood vessel function. This reduced risk of cardiac diseases and disorders can reduce death rates and increase the average lifespan of individuals who regularly consume a controlled amount of chocolate.
The brain is one of the most oxygen-hungry organs in the human body. Irregular or low blood supply to the brain can damage brain cells, slurred speech, dizziness, stroke, and even death in extreme cases. Flavonoids in chocolate have been proven to increase blood flow to the brain through improved coronary vasodilation. Vitamin B1 in chocolate is a constituent of an enzyme necessary for metabolism and helps with nerve function as well.
Chocolate is known to stimulate the production of endorphins and serotonin in the brain. Endorphins are responsible for improving your mood, whereas serotonin is a neurotransmitter that reduces stress and depression. This gives the chocolate a special place in the diet as comfort food that improves mental health.
According to Dr. Frank Lipman of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in NYC, dark chocolate contains numerous antioxidants such as phenols and catechins that help in preventing sunburn and skin cancer. Dr. Lipman recommends 2 ounces of dark chocolate as a supplement in your daily diet. Antioxidants disarm free radicals, DNA-damaging molecules that are formed when UV radiation in the sunlight penetrates the skin. Chocolate is one of the important sources of Vitamins B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin). These chocolate multivitamins are important for healthy skin and nervous system.
A single 100-gram milk chocolate provides 540 calories per serving. It contains approximately 59% carbohydrates, 30% fat, and 8% protein. It also provides micronutrients, supplements, vitamins, and minerals such as riboflavin, vitamin B12, manganese, zinc, phosphorus, iron, calcium, and magnesium.
Antioxidants in chocolate called flavonoids lower the body’s blood pressure by causing e veins’ relaxation. These antioxidants can also help the body in fighting bad cholesterol and the damage from free radicals. Dark chocolate is more nutritious and embodies more health benefits than milk chocolates. Vitamin E found in chocolates is an important antioxidant and helps protect the cell walls.
The fat content in chocolate is derived from cocoa butter and is composed of equal amounts of oleic acid, stearic acid, and palmitic acid. Oleic acid is mono-saturated fat that is also found in olive oil and is considered very healthy for the heart. Stearic acid and palmitic acids are saturated fats. Saturated fats are known to increase LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream and thereby the risk of heart disease. But when taken in ideal and recommended dosages, chocolate can serve as a very healthy component of your diet.
Research indicates that people suffering from high blood pressure have experienced a lowered upper number in their systolic blood pressure reading by an average of 2 mmHg and bottom diastolic blood pressure reading by an average of 2 mmHg after eating dark chocolate or cocoa-based products for a duration of 2-8 weeks.
According to neurophysiologist Dr. Will Clower, the founder of Mediterranean Wellness, the regular consumption of chocolate that is high on cocoa content significantly improves the growth of capillary in your muscles. This phenomenon is observed in both the skeletal muscles and the muscles of the heart. Since capillaries carry oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the muscle tissue, this process results in more mitochondria in the muscle cells, which creates energy for the muscles to move. B vitamins is an excellent way to boost your energy levels to keep on with your day!
Lowered cholesterol levels
According to a study conducted in 2017, researchers concluded that by eating raw almonds, dark chocolate, and cocoa as a part of their daily diet, the overweight and obese participants of the study witnessed lower LDL cholesterol. Consuming dark chocolate can improve several important risk factors for heart disease. In another, the consumption of cocoa powder was observed to diminish the levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol significantly. It also resulted in an increased HDL and a lowered total LDL for the participants who already had high cholesterol levels. Oxidized LDL is “bad” cholesterol that has reacted with free radicals and can damage the heart’s arterial lining.
Cocoa and dark chocolate is also known to contain stimulants such as caffeine and theobromine. These stimulants can keep you fresh and alert after a particularly exhausting day. However, it is not likely to help you stay awake at night since the amount of caffeine in cocoa products is very less compared to that in coffee.
Protection from diabetes
Dark chocolate also reduces insulin resistance, and the polyphenols present in dark chocolate improve insulin sensitivity. These collectively can result in delaying or even preventing the onset of diabetes in vulnerable individuals.
In conclusion, cocoa has been proven to provide multiple health benefits, especially in protecting against heart disease and providing micro-nutrients, supplements, and multivitamins. The precautions you need to keep in mind while consuming chocolate is that you don’t overeat and choose the type of dark chocolate wisely — that is, chocolate from a renowned brand that contains 70% or more cocoa.